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Symposium: Beyond The Blue

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Beyond The Blue: WOAD From Field to Fashion

The University of Brighton presents a one-day European based symposium and fashion show investigating the neglected story of the history, present and future of natural woad from field to fashion.

Date :Friday 13th June 2014
Venue :The Old Courthouse, Museum of Brighton
Time:10am to 5pm
Admission: Free
Reserve a place

WOAD. Once, a hugely successful and important basic commercial product of the European textile industry throughout the Middle Ages and on through the 19th century, the dye from this plant was the basis of a long and fruitful trade between Britain and Northern France.

This plant now reunites our regions again. The University of Brighton presents a symposium delivered by British and French scholars which will examine the demise and eventual replacement of Woad growing, due to large-scale importation of indigo from China, India and the West Indies. A further theme, presented by today’s growers, designers and makers set against current concerns over issues of sustainability, will assess the possibilities of the use of this brilliant blue natural dye within today’s international fashion and textiles industries.

This French/English bi-lingual conference is closely linked to the University of Brighton fashion show ‘Beyond Blue’ which will showcase their fashion and textile students’ garments created from fabric that has been woven, knitted or digitally printed based on a Woad colour palette. There will also be a static exhibition of work created by sculpture students from the Université of Picardie incorporating printed textile designs by students from the University of Brighton. The fashion show and exhibition will take place at St Bartholomew’s Church on the evening of Friday 13th June 2014 at 6pm.

Partners in the ‘Out of the Blue Waide Project’ are: ‘Amiens Metropole, Musée de Picardie, Amiens Metropole Libraries, ‘Maison de la Culture’ in Amiens, University of Brighton, Royal Pavilion and Museums, Brighton & Hove, Care
Co-ops and Fabrica Galler


Commission: Oxford Brooks University SU

SONY DSCDesigned by design company Peagreen and woven by Gainsborough Silk Weaving, the Oxford Brooks University SU Bar  has a new installation that is testament to their new purpose built development.

The tessellating shapes and disrupted visual continuation of the piece was inspired by the geometric architecture and artwork in the Victor Vasarely Museum in Aix-en-Provence. Up close the installation becomes a mirage of intricate textures, patterns and gradients created both by the artwork patterns and the weaves.

The 3 x 10 metre piece proved an exciting challenge for Gainsborough Silk Weaving and consists of eleven woven panels, which were then rearranged and stitched together to create the finished work. No two panels are the same, employing a mixture of warps and weft yarn to create a completely different feel from one side of the loom to the other. Using silks, cotton, rayon and lurex to create added depth the installation has  great impact and is enticing.

The SU Bar will be open to students and the public from September 2014.